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Old March 17, 2015, 12:53 AM   #1
igotta40
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Test fired at the factory? Pietta revolvers

A question for the SME (subject matter experts)....

I bought a Pietta Colt clone .44 caliber revolver from Cabela's last week. It has a small amount of 'soot', for lack of a better term, in the barrel.

The cylinder including the nipples are pretty oily.

Of course I'm not going to load and shoot it until I clean it, but does the Pietta factory test fire these before they box them up?
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Old March 17, 2015, 01:42 AM   #2
EljaySL
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I've wondered about that too.
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Old March 17, 2015, 05:48 AM   #3
RON in PA
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They bear Italian gov't. mandated proof marks, they've been test fired.
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Old March 17, 2015, 09:04 AM   #4
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Anybody know just how "proofing" is carried out. Is black powder actually used?
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Old March 17, 2015, 09:51 AM   #5
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That or someone at Pietta might have borrowed it for the weekend.

Here's a previous thread on the subject of BP proofing techniques:
http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/i.../t-510564.html

As noted in the thread, it's kind of hard to proof a cap and ball revolver.
There's not much room for excess powder in the chambers.
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Last edited by g.willikers; March 17, 2015 at 09:56 AM.
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Old March 17, 2015, 11:15 AM   #6
EljaySL
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Interesting. I didn't know they proofed the revolvers.
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Old March 17, 2015, 11:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.willikers View Post
That or someone at Pietta might have borrowed it for the weekend.
Amen, I'm a mechanical moron and my guns reflect that at some point no matter how much I love them. BUT all three of my brand new Pietta's could have been used to settle a dispute in the breakroom, used to break into a locked car, AND taken for the weekend. Scratches, bumps, but overall to me a great value.

And some of mine look like all six chambers were fired more than once, don't know how I'm going to get the nipples off, one of those ted cash holder deals, a vice, a cheater pipe and some harsh language? , the 1851 had a buttload of fouling in the frame, more than in the rest of the gun so.... maybe it was long weekend and they cleaned it up a little before boxing it up?

I can see some of the folks I shared time with in that part of the world calling it 'random quality control'. For sure.

Yes they are proof fired and not being a SME on BP have to say, looks like BP to me. I put one grip frame in boiling water to smell check the fouling, rotten eggs smell just like BP...
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Old March 17, 2015, 12:45 PM   #8
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It depends on the 'Proof" house in their individual countries. But most if not all of the firearm producing countries have signed an agreement that their methods will be accredited by and follow the guidelines established by the International Proofing Committee in which Italy is a participant. So if its a firearm produced by members of this committee it has to be 'proofed' and marked as such.

America does not participate.
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Old March 17, 2015, 07:59 PM   #9
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My brand new, unfired by me, Pietta 1851 .36 cal has the tell-tale sign of having been fired by someone at least once. It shows evidence of flame cutting on the arbor about one third of the way from the front of the arbor.

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Old March 17, 2015, 08:33 PM   #10
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My 2014 [CM] Pietta 1851 Navy .36 shows the same mark, but not so "long" across the arbor. Same width. My gap at forcing cone to cylinder is very tight, maybe .001" or less. Can barely see light through the gap. I have not shot it yet, but it may be evidence of proofing.

The pistol came to me swimming in oil but there was a lot of black residue beneath the cylinder near the hand.

Last edited by expat_alaska; March 17, 2015 at 09:08 PM.
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Old March 18, 2015, 12:49 AM   #11
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I got one this year with a shaved ring of lead around the rammer.
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Old March 18, 2015, 10:52 AM   #12
44 Dave
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Would not the proof marks need to be stamped in before the gun parts are blued. Or do do they stamp everything, assuming it will pass, build the gun then test fire it and any they blow up go in the scrap.
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Old March 18, 2015, 02:41 PM   #13
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I found the answer to my own question in my owner's manual, once I decided to open it. They test fire each piece and verify with proof marks.
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Old March 18, 2015, 04:16 PM   #14
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Its a law to 'proof' each and every firearm or the firearm cannot be sold.
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Old March 18, 2015, 04:44 PM   #15
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As I understand it, revolvers are proof fired while still in the white (unfinished) and then blued (or whatever) afterwards. I would think this could be easily determined by using a high magnification glass to examine proof marks to see if they're was any indication they'd been polished and finished prior to being stamped.

If they were stamped and then finished the finishing process (bluing, plating, etc.) would eliminate most (or more likely all) evidence of having been fired.
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Old March 18, 2015, 06:00 PM   #16
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Given the QA/QC of modern steel composition, I suspect that the number of guns that actually fail "proof" firing is EXTREMELY small, and its the most cost effective to leave proofing as the almost final step (fire gun, stamp the proofs, touch-up with cold blue, do a "quick" clean, dip in oil, send to customer) as opposed to firing the proofs "in the white", necessitating a comprehensive cleaning process before finishing.

I would be curious to know how many guns failed proof testing in the glory days of the Belgium (Liege) and Spanish cottage gun making eras- Anybody know if it was 1 in 5 or 1 in 100?
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Old March 18, 2015, 08:19 PM   #17
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Proofing is done by a centralized National proof house not by the manufacturer. The Italian proof houses in Gardone and Valtrompia have been around for a very long time but as far as reproduction black powder arms are concerned, the dating begins in 1954. Prior to 1954, the year of proof was indicated in full Arabic numerals.

95 July 6, 2012 (the so-called “Spending Review”): in Article 23, subsection 12-sexiesdecies, a provision was inserted that gives the Italian National Proof House of Gardone Valtrompia the authority to verify whether any firearm produced, imported or marketed in Italy meets the requirements to be qualified as “common weapon” or “sporting weapon”.



http://www.all4shooters.com/en/home/...rting-weapons/


For both small arms and heavy weapons, the gun is fired remotely and then examined; if undamaged, it is assumed to be safe for normal use and a proof mark is added to the barrel. In the case of revolvers or other multi-chamber firearms, each chamber must be proof tested before the firearm may be marked. Examination of the firearm may be as simple as visually inspecting it (defective components may fail in a spectacular manner, resulting in an explosion of the firearm) or may involve more in-depth examination, at the option of the tester.



The types of proof tests applied depended on the firearm being tested. Factors such as muzzle loading or breech loading, whether the barrel has rifling or not, bore of the barrel etc. all determine the type and number of proof tests to be run. In the case of multi-chamber firearms, such as revolvers, each chamber would have to be individually proof tested before the firearm was marked. Each proof house had its own marks based on the type of tests applied to the firearm. These proof marks would be stamped on to the barrel of the weapon, usually on the underside so that they would normally not be visible unless one disassembled the weapon for cleaning. The following picture shows some of the proof marks used by different countries:



The current CIP member countries are Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, UAE and UK. In a standard CIP test, a firearm is fired twice with overloaded cartridges that produce 25% more pressure (30% more pressure for pistols, revolvers and weapons using rimfire cartridges) than the standard cartridge it would normally be fired with. After firing two overloaded cartridges, the firearm is disassembled and examined for magnetic flux leakage through fluoroscopic lamp in a dark room. If it passes, the CIP proof marks are stamped on to the metal, along with marks that indicate the date and the lab that performed the tests and the accompanying paperwork details are completed as well. Only then is the firearm sent back to the manufacturer or seller, who can now officially sell the firearm. Every civilian firearm that is for sale in a CIP member country is required by law to pass the tests, whether the manufacturer or seller is from a CIP member country or not. CIP also approves all ammunition that is sold by a manufacturer or importer in a CIP member country. The ammunition manufacturers are required to test each production lot in their factory against the CIP pressure specifications, document the test results and stamp each cartridge box with a CIP approved number that allows them to trace any quality-control problems back to a specific factory and lot number.

http://firearmshistory.blogspot.com/...roof-test.html
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Old March 19, 2015, 11:19 PM   #18
Ephraim Kibbey
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Since the US does not have a national proofing house, are American made firearms ever proofed by their manufacturers?

Are American made firearms that are exported to the above countries required to be proofed by their houses before being sold in those countries?
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Old March 19, 2015, 11:22 PM   #19
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Sorry Crawdad1, I guess you already answered my second question toward the end of your post.

I should have read thoroughly instead of skimming!
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Old March 20, 2015, 09:34 AM   #20
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I'm always guilty of that EK, skimming as opposed to reading, transposing figures, that's me in a nutshell.

Once I started researching this European proof mark system I was kind of overwhelmed on how big and how vast an operation it is.

Every frickin firearm or its illegal, unbelievable.

Last edited by Crawdad1; March 20, 2015 at 09:48 AM.
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Old March 21, 2015, 07:39 AM   #21
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You know, we do have a lot of people from overseas that post here and they could shed needed additional light on the 'proofing' operation that is conducted in Europe as a lot of the literature on 'proofing' is in a foreign language.

Where are they????
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Old March 22, 2015, 02:19 AM   #22
Driftwood Johnson
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Quote:
Since the US does not have a national proofing house, are American made firearms ever proofed by their manufacturers?
Yes.

I took a tour of the Remington factory in Ilion NY a bunch of years ago. While I was there I saw them proof testing some rifles. The rifle was mounted on a stand with the muzzle poking through into a separate room which contained some sort of backstop. One proof load was loaded into the rifle and the bolt closed. Then a protective hood was lowered over the rifle to protect the operator in case something let go. The operator pulled a triggering device to fire the round. Then the protective cover was lifted off, and the rifle was lifted off. At this point the operator stamped a marking onto the rifle indicating it had been proofed. By the way, the rifle was completely finished and blued at this point.

All the major firearms manufacturers used to test fire their firearms. I have seen photos of testing revolvers at S&W.

This photo shows the Winchester Proof mark on the barrel and frame of a Model 12 shotgun. Winchester stamped the superimposed WP on all their rifles and shotguns to indicate they had been proofed.

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Old March 22, 2015, 10:31 AM   #23
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“On the reception of finished, full sets of the [blued and case-hardened] parts of the pistols, they are once more carried up to the assembling room; but this time to another corps of artisans. Guided by the numbers, they are once more assembled; and now, although each portion has associated with scores of its fellows and gone through many distinct operations in distant parts of the establishment, our particular pistol, number 138,565, is reassembled as first united, and the finished arm is laid on a rack, ready for the prover; of course many others accompany it to the department of this official, which is located in the third story of the rear building.



Here each chamber is loaded with the largest charge possible, and practically tested by firing, after which, they are wiped out by the prover and returned to the inspection department. The inspectors again take them apart, thoroughly clean and oil them, when they are for the last time put together and placed in a rack for the final inspection.” - “A Day at the Armory of Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company, Hartford, Connecticut”, United States Magazine, March, 1857; quoted in Haven & Belden, A History of the Colt Revolver.
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Old March 22, 2015, 11:03 AM   #24
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A cap and ball revolver with the Italian "PN" black powder proof mark was required to have been tested with a 30% overload in each chamber. The only ready way to increase pressure with black powder is to use a finer than normal granulation. And indeed, I found mention of "superfine" black powder calibrated by the proof house for the purpose. (That was in Belgium, but Italy goes by the 1924 Brussels Convention which was heavily influenced by Belgium.)

Again, as a matter of product liability, major American makers proof test their guns with an overload as is done by law in Europe. The little triangular VP symbol on a Colt is their proof mark.

I don't know about the small outfits. Is a $5000 Wilson Super Grade shot with a 30% overload like a $19 RG MUST be in Germany?
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Old March 22, 2015, 12:32 PM   #25
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Thank you, Crawdad1, Driftwood Johnson, Berkley and Jim Watson!
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